When it comes to helping its employees of all ages grow and work better together, the team at Pure Dental Brands practices an approach called “servant leadership.” The idea is that — instead of just giving orders — managers, supervisors and other experienced employees should focus more on helping others develop and grow professionally.
"Servant leadership is being able to lift up others who are on your team and in your organization to help them be successful,” says Ashley Brooker, vice president of human resources for the health care company that operates 56 dental offices in eight states (Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia). Pure Dental Brands is one of more than 1,000 companies that have signed AARP's Employer Pledge and committed to promoting equal opportunity for all workers, regardless of age.
The servant leadership philosophy can help multigenerational teams flourish by building the mentoring relationships that workers of all ages value, according to AARP research. Brooker recently spoke with AARP about the roles that older workers play as part of Pure Dental's team. The following are lightly edited excerpts from that conversation.